August 2/11 13:06 pm - Challenge Sprint Pro: a Unanimous “Yes”!
Posted by Editoress on 08/2/11
Serge Arsenault, President of the Grands Prix Cyclistes Québec–Montréal (GPCQM), is pleased to announce that the ProTeams have unanimously confirmed their commitment to take part in the first-ever edition of the Challenge Sprint Pro, to take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, on Québec City’s Grande-Allée.
“The goal for this first year was to secure backing from 50% of the 18 best teams in the world for their participation in 2011, which was entirely optional. Being able to count on 100% of the invitees is an unexpected success for the GPCQM!” Arsenault explained. The ProTeams will be joined by the four Pro Continental wild-card teams as well as two Canadian cyclists who will have qualified during the Challenge Sprint Canada. The identities of the riders entered will be revealed the week of September 5.
These explosive sprints in rapid succession are sure to be a thrilling experience for fans gathered all along the course. They will also make for great television and broadcasters have shown a strong interest for the event which will be broadcasted live on Eurosport to more than 50 countries, as well as on Rogers Sportsnet, Radio-Canada, Évasion and NESN.
The Challenge Sprint Pro, inspired by the exciting dash to the finish line that concludes longer bike races, will feature a slate of 24 riders who will race in successive heats over a one-kilometre course. The top two finishers in each heat move on to the next round until the final showdown.
Charly Mottet, the GPCQM’s Sports Manager and a former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer, commented on strategy for the new event: “The number-one requirement, of course, is to be a very fast racer and sustain a finishing kick over the last two hundred metres. But the eventual winner will also have to be a crafty rider who can tactically control his opponents.”
The second edition of the Challenge Sprint Canada will be run in the hour immediately preceding the Challenge Sprint Pro. The top Canadian sprinters have been invited to enter. Both Challenge Sprint races will be sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). This new event could potentially become an officially sanctioned discipline of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Les Grands Prix Cyclistes Québec – Montréal In 2009, the Grands Prix Cyclistes Québec–Montréal organization was granted the first two UCI licences for ProTour (WorldTour as of 2011) races in North America. The organization is responsible for planning and putting on races in Québec City and Montréal from 2010 to 2014. Please visit the website www.gpcqm.ca for more details on these races at the premier level of world cycling.